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Top tips for feeling confident at strata meetings

If you currently own or are about to buy a property in a strata complex scheme, such as a townhouse or apartment, understanding how strata meetings work will help ensure you get the most from your property ownership.

Entering the world of strata meetings can be a daunting experience, especially for newcomers. If you’re wondering how they work and what your involvement may need to be, read on to discover our top tips for feeling confident at strata meetings.

Why you should attend strata meetings

When you buy a property in a strata scheme, you automatically become part of the owner's corporation which oversees the building’s management and ensures the scheme is compliant with legal requirements.

Your strata fees go into ‘funds’ managed by the owner’s corporation to maintain the building. This includes an ‘administrative fund’ for day-to-day costs (e.g., gardens, maintenance, insurance, strata management fees) and a ‘sinking fund’ for major building expenses (e.g. replacing roofing, lifts or fencing).

Attending meetings is a great way to get a clear picture of what’s happening in the building and how funds - especially the sinking fund - are being used, including works/repairs to be undertaken, the budget, and expected completion date.

Different types of strata meetings

In Australia, while each state operates its own set of regulations for how strata schemes and meetings operate, there are typically three main types of strata meetings:

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Owners Corporations are generally required to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) each year, where owners will discuss finances including the setting of levies and funding for upcoming repairs or maintenance, along with insurance, safety issues, changes to by-laws or disputes between residents.

At the AGM the Owners Corporation will normally elect people to sit on the strata committee, to make smaller, day-to-day decisions for them. A building manager may be appointed to manage maintenance, minor repairs and general safety in the building, along with a strata manager to oversee meetings, prepare budgets, issue levies and pay invoices and insurance.

General Meeting

Any meeting of the Owners Corporation other than the AGM is a general meeting, and takes place when owners need to make a decision that can't wait for the next AGM.

Strata Committee Meeting

Strata committee meetings are for strata committee members to discuss and vote on day-to-day decision making of the Owners Corporation. A decision of the strata committee is generally taken to be a decision of the Owners Corporation.

Read more about strata meetings in your state: NSW | ACT | VIC |QLD | NT | WA | SA 

Good to know before your first meeting

Voting at meetings

If there is any voting happening at a particular meeting, lot owners must be “financial” to be able to vote. This means all levies must be paid, with nothing outstanding on your lot, for your vote to count.

If you can’t attend a meeting

If you can't attend a meeting yourself you can nominate someone to attend by proxy. This is a relatively easy process but must be done before the meeting so the committee or the chair knows who they are and that they are representing you.

Review documents in advance

Before the meeting, take the time to review any relevant documents, such as the agenda or minutes from the previous meeting, and any proposed motions. This will help you understand the topics to be discussed and come prepared with insightful questions.

Understand strata jargon

Strata meetings are often chock-full of terminology and acronyms you may not be familiar with. Make sure you understand strata terminology so you can follow discussions and feel more confident about participating in the meeting. Learn more about how strata works.

Arrive early and be prepared

Come to the meeting with any questions or comments you'd like addressed, and aim to arrive early to allow time to introduce yourself before proceedings start.

Be respectful and collaborative

Respect the allocated time for each agenda item. Avoid dominating discussions and allow others to express their opinions. Be prepared to collaborate when it comes to decision making - flexibility and a willingness to work together will facilitate more productive meetings.


Attending strata meetings as a newcomer may seem overwhelming, but with proper preparation and a positive attitude, you can navigate these gatherings successfully. This allows you to not only get the most out of your property ownership, but also to develop those all-important relationships with fellow owners.

For more help and advice with owning or buying a strata property reach out to the experts at your local Hockingstuart office today.

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